Albert Pujols/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
– David DeJesus got off to a rough start in his first game, striking out three times while going 0-for-4. Normally, DeJesus will platoon with Shane Victorino in left field, but DeJesus was in center for this one because Mike Trout missed his second consecutive game with a sore wrist. David Murphy, one of the other new Angels, went 1-for-4 while playing left field. At least he didn’t strike out.
– The Astros re-took sole possession of first place in the AL West with this victory. The Angels, who recently led by two games, have gone 1-5 after a 20-game span in which they went 17-3.
– Albert Pujols hit his 30th home run, becoming the sixth player to hit at least 30 home runs in 13 seasons, the first to do it in his first 15 campaigns.
– Trout missed his second consecutive game with a sore left wrist. Manager Mike Scioscia told the Associated Press before the game that Trout is getting better, but that he wanted to “err on the side of caution.”
– Not a terrific performance by starting pitcher Garrett Richards. Not horrible, though. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. What’s interesting is that he struck out just three even though he is throwing hard. It’s been a season-long curiosity. Richards struck out 164 in 168 2/3 innings before his season ended with a serious knee injury in August. He averaged 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings. He has just 91 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings this season, a 6.7 average.
Matt Shoemaker/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
– Big outing for Matt Shoemaker in this one. Shoemaker, who has struggled this season to find the rhythm that helped him go 16-4 in 2014, pitched six innings of two-hit ball. He struck out 10 and walked three on 88 pitches to move to 5-7 on the season. Even so, his ERA dropped only to 4.55. It was 3.04 a season ago.
– Chris Iannetta continued his recent surge at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a three-run home run and four RBIs. He is 9-for-32 over his past 10 games, which equates to a .281 average. That’s not spectacular, but it did raise his average from .181 to .199.
– C.J. Cron went 4-for-4 to raise his average to .278. That is quite impressive since it was just .204 upon being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake City in late June. Cron is hitting .488 (21-for-43) this month.
– Daniel Robertson has continued to make the most of his opportunity. Typically, he’s been platooning with Matt Joyce in left field. But with Mike Trout taking the day off with a sore left heel, Robertson was in center for this one. He had two more hits and raised his average to .271.
– Speaking of Trout, he told reporters that he woke up Tuesday morning and his heel was sore. He said he didn’t remember doing anything specific to cause it. He is day-to-day.
C.J. Wilson/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
C.J. Wilson has had an up-and-down season for the Angels. Friday’s performance against the Boston Red Sox was one of his best starts of the campaign.
He tossed eight innings and gave up five hits and no runs while striking out four and walking three in the Angels’ 1-0 victory that came to an end when Mike Trout hit a game-winning home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Wilson didn’t get the victory, but he received plenty of praise from manager Mike Scioscia.
“There are some guys in there in that lineup that will let you know if you’re missing spots and he just got some big outs,” Scioscia said. “I thought he used all his pitches. Didn’t bring his curveball into the game until maybe a little bit later. But had good fastball command, good changeup, cutter, used the slider well.”
Mike Trout/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout on Tuesday night was named Most Valuable Player of the All-Star game for the second consecutive season, becoming the first player to accomplish that.
Trout went 1-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored to help the American League to a 6-3 victory over the National League.
Trout became the first player in 38 years to lead off the All-Star game with a home run when he smacked one over the right-field fence off Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke.